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ESPN-Frontline Collaboration Featured at Annual PBS Affair
Senior Coordinating Producer Dwayne Bray and Senior Editor Chris Buckle represented ESPN’s Enterprise Reporting Unit this week at PBS’s 2013 Annual Meeting in Miami Beach.
L to R: ESPN’s Dwayne Bray, Harry Carson, Raney Aronson, Mike Kirk
Bray was part of Tuesday’s main-luncheon roundtable, discussing the year-long collaboration between PBS’ Frontline and ESPN’s Outside the Lines, a project investigating the latest research on brain injuries and football that threatens the long-term health and popularity of the sport. The roundtable included Frontline Deputy Executive Producer Raney Aronson-Rath, producer Michael Kirk, and Pro Football Hall-of-Fame linebacker Harry Carson.
“For 30 years, Frontline has been the gold standard for serious documentary journalism,” Bray said. “And for the past two decades, ESPN and Outside the Lines have covered the football concussions issues as thoroughly and as consistently as any media outlet. It makes sense for Frontline and Outside the Lines to partner our journalistic efforts and shed even more light on this critical issue, which, at its core, is about the health and safety of those who play the game, including hundreds of thousands of kids.
“It was an honor for me to represent ESPN, especially since a big spotlight was on Frontline’s 30th birthday, and the documentary involving ESPN reporters Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada.”
Buckle added, “I think the audience was as energized to learn about our partnership, and this fall’s related documentaries, as we have been working together. The audience was touched by Carson’s personal stories and advice, and moved by a preview clip from one of our films.”
Examples of the OTL-Frontline investigation have included:
· The Mike Webster disability case » (video)
When a therapy dog named “Ricochet” hopped on a surfboard and rode with a quadriplegic teenager in southern California, she offered something no other dog could. Tom Rinaldi reports on how this Golden Retriever brought hope and happiness to kids and adults with special needs.
“She’s a very ordinary dog with an extraordinary spirit. Ricochet is able to identify in people what they’re missing and is able to provide it.” — Judy Fridono, Ricochet’s owner
“West kept looking back to see her face. He wanted to see her reaction, to see how happy she was that they were surfing together because he loves her so much. It was like a whole new West because of Ricochet.” — Lauren Chavez, speaking about how her autistic son, West, opened up
Click the image to view ESPN.com Editor Jack McCluskey’s column on how Boston’s pro teams have contributed to the “Boston Strong” movement. Of writing the piece, McCluskey says; “As a Bostonian, I’ve always known that pro sports are woven into the fabric of the city. But in the month since the bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, it seems to me the city’s teams have taken on a new role: They haven’t just been providing entertainment, they’ve been providing a collective form of therapy. These are just a few of the many ways the Bruins, Celtics, Patriots and Red Sox have helped those affected, both directly and indirectly, begin to heal.”
One of the most-anticipated UFC fights will occur in Las Vegas on May 25 when two-time champion Cain Velasquez meets Antonio “Big Foot” Silva. ESPN Deportes spent a day in San Jose, Calif. with Velasquez, who won his first title with a first-round TKO of Brock Lesnar, as the Mexican-American fighter prepared to defend his belt.